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Art in the Heart of St. Pete: The American Stage Theater Company

By Elisha Neubauer

As the American Stage Theatre Company nears its 40th anniversary, it still continues to strengthen its connection with the community. A professional equity theatre located in the heart of downtown St. Pete, American Stage's mission is to create the most satisfying live theatre in the Tampa Bay area- while ensuring that the performance arts are accessible to all.

"The arts are a vital part of any community as they enrich the quality of life in a community, help to attract talent and businesses into the region and they contribute significantly to the local economy," says Stephanie Gularte, Producing Artistic Director. "At its best, live theatre can make us more empathetic and bring us closer together as a society."

Year round programming, called the Mainstage Series, is performed in the 182-seat state-of-the-art Raymond James Theatre, while the annual American Stage in the Park series plays out in the Williams Park, located across the road, each spring.

Gularte hopes to do more than just entertain. "As American Stage's new Producing Artistic Director, I look forward to bringing bolder works to our stage," she says. "With an emphasis on plays that make us alternately laugh and cry and leave audiences with something to think. I love it when audiences tell me that they are still talking about a play they've seen days later."

A diehard supporter of the next generation of artists and educators, American Stage hopes to instill in young people a love of theater. It offers youth and adult programs, as well as corporate training and can be found partnering with community programs such as the Pinellas Association of Retarded Citizens, the Juvenile Detention Center, Coordinated Child Care, and the YWCA's Family Village. American Stage's Write On! Pinellas program places a teaching artist into underperforming schools twice a week. American Stage also teaches a playwriting course in which students write ten minute plays for professional actors to perform onstage at the close of the semester.

Discounts are available at the box office to help ensure everyone can take in the magic of live theatre. Student Advanced or Rush tickets are available for close to the same cost as a movie theater ticket. Active Military tickets are free, with an additional discount for their family's tickets. Senior or Retired Military discounts, as well as Artist discounts are other examples of how American Stage accommodates the entire community.

"We are proud of our partnership with the Tampa Bay area and are always looking for ways to bring meaningful high quality theatre to the region," says Gularte. "We have plans to take American Stage to new heights in the coming as we approach our 40th anniversary."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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